My Mom and I, 2005.

Helping my dad move out of our family home, my childhood home, hasn’t felt real in the slightest. We hand over the keys in just a few days. Packing boxes, organizing, finding old treasures. The past seems alive.

The pandemic this year turned the world upside down for us all. In my case, I left my dorm for what I thought would be a typical spring break…and never went back. Even so, it’s been a nice change of pace being back at my childhood home in Dallas. I’ve gotten to spend the last year and a half re-living memories of…

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger with Chinese President Xi Jinping, 2016. (Getty Images)

Bob Iger, the former CEO and current President of Disney — who sent the company soaring to new heights — has said he is interested in assuming the role of Ambassador to China in the upcoming Biden administration, The Wall Street Journal reported.

This news reflects how close American businesses — especially in the entertainment and media world — have become with China. Iger has had extensive experience working with the Chinese government. …

How Apple Could Become A Major Hollywood Studio — And Why It Matters

Photo by James Yarema on Unsplash

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) is exploring a sale to the tune of over $5 billion. The once-major studio behind the James Bond franchise has an existing library of over 5,000 movies and TV shows, which has proved attractive to companies looking to expand their streaming businesses (like Apple!).

Some analysts have suggested that Apple won’t take the opportunity to expand thier library to include MGM’s previously-produced content — the name of the game in streaming is, of course, spending money to churn out new originals on a daily and weekly basis. …

Warner Bros. Pictures films headed to HBOMax in 2021 (Courtesy of WarnerMedia)

In an unprecedented move, AT&T — the parent company of Warner Bros. Pictures and HBOMax — dropped a bombshell when they announced on Tuesday, December 8th that the entire Warner Brothers film slate for 2021 would debut on the same day in theaters and on HBO Max — all in an effort to boost subscribers to the flailing streaming service amid the pandemic. The films headed there include major blockbusters such as Godzilla vs. Kong, The Suicide Squad, Dune, and The Matrix 4.

In response to the surprise, Dune and Blade Runner 2049 Director Denis Villeneuve wrote a scathing op-ed…

Disney’s Streaming Blitz — Explained

Walt Disney Company

Many expected Disney to deliver a blow to HBOMax and Warner Bros. by announcing that their upcoming slate of films would be released on to Disney+. However, nobody expected what actually happened last Thursday during the company’s hotly-anticipated Investor Day call, where Disney announced that they will spend an incredible $8-$9 billion on original content for their streaming service over the next three years. (That’s still crumbs compared to Netflix’s $17 Billion in original content spending just this year, but represents a huge investment from Disney).

Disney has placed a massive bet on their new streaming service as their theme…

Cutting Back On Subscriptions In An Age Of Constant Content

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

With a bit of extra time during the current global catastrophe, our family has been doing a myriad of “spring cleaning” essentials. One thing I had been meaning to do was re-evaluate the streaming services that we use, and try and cut back on some.

It Was Costing Us A Bunch

Doing the math on billing that had piled up over the years, we were astonished.

We had built up a whopping $76.93/mo (= $923.16/yr) in streaming services, in addition to a $20/mo. Spectrum TV subscription, that allows 15 live channels and hooks up with a Roku Smart television piece.

We couldn't believe that number and…

Painting by David, The Death of Marat (1793); public domain.

Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) was a renowned neoclassical artist and politico, with much of his most famous work being produced during the throes of the French Revolution in the late 1700s.

In his 1793 work, The Death of Marat, David details an idealized death of Jean-Paul Marat, a radical populist and journalist linked to the revolution and the Jacobins, as David himself was. …

Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas, near the town of Perito Moreno in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. Image is Creative Commons — Public Domain.

Storytelling, in pre-written times, served as a way for society to pass on family lore. Without a written narrative, storytelling from memory and generational traditions were the only way to transmit history. Even in modern times, much of our family histories go unwritten. A pandemic that wipes out the elderly threatens to wipe out generations of family history. And yet, it’s not just the fault of the virus, but of institutions that have — for decades — bred smaller, more insular families that have cut us off from the wisdom of our forebears.

Large, extended families are no longer feasible…

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Writing stories on any platform is not an easy thing to do — there is a lot of effort, discipline, and some leaps of faith necessary to get where you want to be.

I’ve been featured as a Top Writer on Medium, and I’ve made some extra money on the side as well. Not only that, but I have found it to be an interesting and exciting way to develop my talents as I transform my thoughts into the written word. As a student, some extra cash, along with building up new writing skills, has been a perfect mix of…

Jake Mercier

Writer and editor of The Streaming Surge on Substack — chronicling the digital Streaming War in an exciting and digestible bi-monthly newsletter to your inbox.

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